Commissioner suggests multi-use facility for Rays, Ybor City

The future of the Tampa Bay Rays was the center of Tuesday's Hillsborough County Commission meeting, where Commissioner Ken Hagan floated a new idea for the proposed Ybor City site.

“Theoretically, it could be a smaller, multi-use facility that could be used by the Rays, it could be used for the Rowdies, spring training, and other events,” Hagan said, adding the facility could be built and maintained using private capital.

The site is in a so-called opportunity zone, meaning investments would likely be eligible for tax incentives.

“We should move forward in this direction, irrespective of if the Rays make that their future home,” Hagan said.

On the team's home front, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and Rays officials met again this week for the second time since the team announced its proposal to explore splitting future seasons between the Bay Area and Montreal.

The city would have to amend its use agreement to allow the team to officially explore that option.

“It is my expectation that, should St. Pete amend their use agreement to look outside, that would provide Tampa and Hillsborough County the opportunity to sit down and have another discussion with them,” Hagan also said.

When asked about the meeting, St. Pete officials sent this statement to FOX 13:

“The city had another cordial meeting with team officials and we expect to have more. We will be refraining, however, from reporting out the details of these meetings.’’